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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec;1030:170-8.

Downregulation of angiogenic factors in Ewing tumor xenografts by the combination of human interferon-alpha or interferon-beta with ifosfamide.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U365, Institut Curie, Section Recherche 26, rue d'Ulm, 75 248, Paris 05, Cedex, France.


Ewing sarcoma is the second most common bone tumor in childhood. Despite aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the prognosis of metastatic disease remains poor. In a nude mouse model of Ewing tumor xenografts, we recently showed that human type I interferons (IFNs) inhibit the growth of established xenografts. Combined therapy with human IFNs and ifosfamide (IFO), an alkylating agent widely used in high-dose chemotherapy of Ewing tumors, results in a strong synergistic antitumor effect. We have investigated the effect of IFNs/IFO treatment on the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), three key mediators of tumor growth and angiogenesis, in tumor xenografts generated either from a primary tumor (EW7) or from a metastatic tumor (COH). COH tumors expressed 5-fold higher levels of VEGF than EW7 tumors. IFNs/IFO treatment reduced by >70% the amount of VEGF in COH and EW7 tumors. We did not detect constitutive MMP-9 activity in EW7 tumors. In contrast, the metastasis-derived COH tumor expressed very high levels of active MMP-9. Although the total amount of MMP-9 remained unchanged, active MMP-9 was reduced by up to 75% in IFNs/IFO-treated COH tumors. IFNs/IFO treatment triggered in both COH and EW7 tumors the downregulation of uPAR expression, a molecule involved in vascularization and endothelial cell migration. Our results partly explain the mechanism of tumor growth inhibition by IFNs/IFO therapy and provide a rational foundation for the development of a new therapeutic approach to Ewing tumors resistant to conventional chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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